He’s a Faithful Father

Many of us have been challenged by so much, and this has shaken the foundations of our Faith. Church assembling has been eased – just a little bit; and the question being asked is, “where are the congregants?” Some of us had our Faith pegged to a church gathering, which was disrupted by the times we are living in, others had their Faith pegged on the man of God (read man a gad), and he didn’t even check on you during the hardest times of your life, the church you gave your tithes and offerings didn’t even buy your family food, …., maybe your man a gad died…. And you have lost the Faith.

Maybe it has nothing to do with the church; its internal, and whatever it is, has brought your heart low with gigantic pain and grief. I am not without my fair share of trials, some have bowed me down not in prayer but in so much pain, and I am powerless to change any of it. These things have caused the children of men to become stumbled and offended in God, such that their Faith has grown cold, or become non-existent. It is easy to believe when everything seems to be going right, however would you still consider God Faithful, even when staff goes sideways?

Church was easier when the pastor could swing by and pray for you, or call you; congregating was simpler because you still had a title and an office to go to, maybe you drove a company car, and because of budgets cuts you have none of them, maybe church was easier because you went as a family, now you are widowed, spouse committed suicide, lost a child, a parent, haven’t been to school / college in two years….. would you still consider God Faithful?

Recently, I was speaking to my children about the Faithfulness of God, and I felt I needed to let them know that tough times will always come, hard situations will hit us, sometimes from the least expected places, but that DOESN’T change who God is. However, the choice remains with you, on how you choose to see what’s happening around you, in light of a Faithful God.

A friend reminded me about Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

She then asked me, “do you love God? Then whatever you are facing is working out for good.”  

Circumstances, situations, and many other things may change, but our Father doesn’t. Today, He is still all the things He was yesterday. He is still, the Lord who provides, our Banner, our Shepherd, our Peace, the One who heals, the One who sanctifies us, our Righteousness, an ever present help, the Lord Almighty, redeemer, Everlasting God, the one who breaks chains, the One who starts a good work and sees it through to the end, whose promises are yes and Amen, the One who holds your breath, your hiding place, ….. and many more.

Whatever your challenge, trial or circumstance is, let your heart be stayed on Him, because only then will you be kept in perfect peace, because you trust in Him. I know that for the longest time in my life, I have asked the Lord to help me see Him beyond staff good or bad. It’s a choice I have made to live in His will – that no power in the sky above, or in the earth below, will ever be able to separate me from the love of my Father that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord – Rom 8:31-39

How have you chosen to know God? Is He faithful only when everything is going on well with you? Remember He changes not. I have chosen to know God as a Faithful Father because His love never gives up on us, no matter what. There is no pain, sorrow, circumstance or otherwise, that He isn’t acquainted with, none that He can’t walk you through. I am an overcomer, because He overcame the world and anything it can throw at me. You too can live an overcomers life. It’s a choice.

Faith above Fear

None of us can say, we have never been scared before. If you have never, it is or will be only a matter of time, that it will happen. Even for a split second, fear can break the door into that fortified well protected mind of yours. But just like a thief breaks through a fortified house/ wall not knowing what to expect – kill or be killed, so is fear. Most of these fortified houses have motion sensors, heat detectors, metallic walls on the inside, you name it, anything to deter the thief from stealing your most valued and priced possessions.

The times we are living in have been disrupted, by the pandemic and all its effects. Well, God isn’t panicking about the 1st wave, the 2nd wave, economy this, facility that…. No. Far from it. He is calling you and me to a place of fortification. You may ask with what? Fortify ourselves in the undeniable truth of His WORD. The enemy has but one agenda, steal kill and destroy. Breaking into a house first of all causes fear, because you are asking why me, what happened, … As you ponder on all these, you are losing time, while the devil is taking the strategic position. Remember the enemy will always beat you because he has vantage over you. Just like Goliath taunted the children of Israel, so does the enemy taunt you in your own house. The children of Israel saw a giant, fear gripped their hearts despair set in. For that moment, fear made them forget the God who chose them as a Nation.

Fear has that kind of power. But look at David, he was the same size or even smaller bodied than the Elite force of King Saul. What did he have? You may decide to look at the sling and stones, yet even you know that logically that wasn’t enough. Rather David was fortified in within more than without. He knew the power of the God he had, He knew he was a from a peculiar people.

For the last one and a half years, seldom does a week go by without me hearing about a person or a business I know, that has succumbed in death to this pandemic or its effects. Ooh how my heart is inclined to fear for a moment! It can happen even to the best of us. But I like what my imagination gives me when I read this portion of scripture.

Ps 34. “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth ….. Ooh magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together….. The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”

Magnify (make big) the things God has done for you. David magnified the Lord for every victory like it was bigger than the last one he’d had. Let the praise of who He is be continually on yours and my lips and let gratitude for what He has done and promised to do continually resound in praise. That is the ammunition you need to fortify the inside. The enemy will definitely try or break into your camp, however, when he finds a fortified soul and spirit, he will not get a vantage point to create fear in you. Let faith in the God who took you through the other battle rise in you over the fear that the present battle is seemingly presenting before you.

The Only Known Cure for Fear is Faith – Lena Kellog Sadler

He is Enough

The reason any of us ever feels defeated is because the enemy has taken our focus off God’s sufficiency to our own ability and sustenance. Forgive them and find restoration in Him.

Praise comes naturally when everything around us is going on well. It’s so easy to ascribe greatness to our God when you don’t have to hope for or believe for anything; I mean how can you believe for something that is within your means to obtain?

After the fall of man (Adam & Eve), life as was known, changed completely. In this life, we go through things big, small, moderate you name it and each of them has its effects; the depth of the marks from each of these events is a visible story in our lives.

Some of the events are orchestrated by those around us, with the intention of bringing us harm, while others are truly our own making. May be today you are in that place, uncertain about your spouse’s love for you, wondering if your boss or supervisor will fire you tomorrow because they simply want to play god, your peers seem to be distancing themselves from you no matter how hard you are trying to fit in, ….. that place where you have been left feeling inadequate, and are tempted to ask if our God is enough! You then begin to wonder if we (humans) should give God a hand in running the affairs of our lives? After all we are the ones down here and He is up there!

Often times, I have found myself in that place and space. There are many moments in my life where I have been rubbished, demeaned, crashed …. and it didn’t matter how much or hard I tried, to be the best, do good, nothing I did seemed enough or even worthy of appreciation. Nothing seemed to tip the scales in my favour. The very first times this happened in my life, I would be so downcast. The sense of hopelessness would always overcome me to a dark place of hopelessness. However, over time (because it is a process), I have learned that God is constant. He is the same one who holds me when praise comes naturally as in terrible times when things are falling apart. Notice that King David encouraged himself in the Lord when all else around him was not looking like the picture God had shown him through the prophet Samuel. What kept David looking up? David always remembered the God who brought him victories, and then Faith would well up on the inside, that He who began a good work, is able to see it through to an expected and desirable end.  

The reason any of us ever feels defeated is because the enemy has taken our focus off God’s sufficiency to our own ability and sustenance. When things are going sideways, that is the moment when like David, you should lift up your face and say “Lord, you are Enough and I trust you.” He is enough, He is more than enough.

His promise to you is that He will never leave you nor forsake you and that will not change. That makes Him enough and it should give you peace that He is working out all things for your good.

Do not let any person(s), or circumstance ever make you feel less than enough because in Him you are enough.  

At it Again

After much eating and celebrating during this festive season, there’s that natural tendency to reflect on the days gone past and then it hits you. What on my resolution list did I or did not accomplish, what tangible thing have I done with my life, …. well 2020 had been exceptional, none of us expected the turn it has taken. Resolutions to save, but you are now dealing with salary cuts, resolution to work towards promotion, career development only to be out of a job or closed business; aggressively looking for a job after university, travelling, …. and the list goes on. So the question for some, is what’s the point of going at it again, while others are beating themselves up for failure to fulfil the 2020 set resolutions.

That time is here and we are at it again. Do I make resolutions or not, should I carry on with the un accomplished ones? There are voices in this chaos as the year ends. The “what if’s…?” are the biggest questions, the one’s you don’t even want to complete, yet you allow your mind to dwell on them.  There seem to be more sights on gloom than hope in the next year because the so called analysts and experts have said so. The “what if’s” are more than the answers you seem to have, hence the pointlessness to make resolutions or intentions for next year. Well, that pessimistic whatsapp group in your mind needs to be disbanded. The Bible clearly asks “who builds a house without counting the cost?” That means there is an expectation for you to plan, because only then can God direct.

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps” Prov. 16:9 (NKJV)

It may be true that you have done it years over and probably gotten the same results or a slight improvement not worth celebrating. I have heard that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity.

So what should you do different this year as you plan for next year? How about inviting the master planner – God, into your next year’s plans?

“Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established” Prov. 16:3 (NKJV)

Another version brings it out clearly

“Share your plans with the Lord and you will succeed” Prov. 16:3 (CEV)

Before you beat yourself or as you try to pick up the pieces, how about gratitude to God whom the breath in your lungs belongs? Some may have achieved their resolutions and have died, but you and I are still alive to start over, plan afresh, challenge ourselves afresh, hope afresh, dream, workout, start a business, ……. do things a new in Him and with Him. That’s what will mark 2021 different from the ones before. Because now you will know His heart in all that you take on.

While the outward appearance of 2020 has deterred some from achieving their year’s resolutions, guess what, some have risen from the seeming defeat because of the witness of God in them. They put Him first acknowledging that without Him, the plans of man will forever be futile.

Because in Him nothing is lost, He gives back the years the locusts have eaten. It is all the more reason you and I should commit our resolutions to Him. The signature of God is life and abundance at that. As we celebrate the season of the birth of His son, who bore all so that we can enjoy the privilege of approaching His throne boldly; let us then approach His throne of mercy with our intentions and resolutions for 2021, being fully persuaded that our plans will succeed.

What are you waiting for?

Go on and share your 2021 plans with the Lord and you will succeed.

Wishing you a Glorious 2021

Your Gift to Me

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Have you ever imagined yourself in the midst of sharks, or looked out the window of your ship only to see dorsal fins circling expectantly? Concerning your job, life, health … your mind, is living in the “its a matter of when not if”?

I share a caption of picture a friend sent me; this sums up what the outside is asking of you and me.

Friends died during the lock down, and, we were unable to identify with their families in their deepest valleys. How painful! This year has had some of our family members being institutionalised because they could not cope with all that was happening, the despair in our elderly parents quarantined in homes leading them to early death, the thought that some children may never return to school, access to healthcare in some of our countries still pauses a challenge …. The list goes on.  The ‘within’ of our lives, has been at war all year through; so we ask what is there to celebrate in this Christmas?

Maybe up until now, it has just been the season to celebrate, and you have never considered the reason for the season. Though life has been seemingly hard, and we ask ourselves when does this end? The outward look of things should not dictate the inward state of our hearts. The reason for the season is God’s gift to us; which is perfect peace.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, …” –  Isaiah 9:6-7

His gift of perfect peace to us, is so that we never walk alone; it is so we can hide in Him. Though the sharks circle around – the storms caused by this single pandemic rage on, He desires that our “within” remains in peace in spite it all. His perfect peace is the anchor that enables us to keep our eyes on Him, to remind us that of the increase of His peace there shall be no end. So let us be reminded that while we cannot control the “without”, we can invite the prince of peace to settle the “within”. He did not say there will not be trials, trouble, disease….. NO. Because Jesus knew, it is no wonder that he told us,

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27

Only God can truly give us that peace which defies the outward to keep the inside intact. As we go through this festive season, let the hope within celebrate the season because the He is still the prince of peace amidst adversity.

Celebrate because His gift of perfect peace is for you.

Merry Christmas and a glorious 2021

Lean on me

When I declared
I do!
I gave you
Everything I owned

My money
And my time
My faithfulness
And my trustworthiness

I dropped my dreams
To cheer you up
And steer the family wheel
As you sire children

I leaned on you
Because I loved you
And hoped
That you will love me

Now that my heart speaks
My insistences are taken for insubordination
My aspirations are taken for selfishness
My potentials are taken for pride

When I ask for money
I am manipulative
When I don’t ask
I am arrogant

When I provide
I am the husband
When I don’t
I am a house girl

When I am tired
I am a cheat
When I am in need
You are tired

If I don’t give in
My body is a punching bag
Of insults
And insecurities

If I give in
You sexually satisfy yourself
And my body burns with bruises
As I hide my tears

Are you not ashamed
To sexually satisfy yourself
On a body
Starving for love

Enough is enough
Your words won’t hurt me anymore
Your actions won’t make me hate anymore
I have taken a stand

If you don’t lean on me
I will not lean on you
If you don’t learn to love me
I will learn to live my life.

I will stand for fairness
I will live for love
Or leave for life
Because I am human.

I found this very interesting. A friend wrote it, thought thought it was worth sharing. You can visit his page and follow him.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10217741036213365&id=1104652031

Pain You gotta Let go of

P2The brokenness in so many of us who walk around, is embedded so deeply that even we cannot tell it apart from ‘our normal’. How much of what you have done or continually do in terms of decisions, relationships with those supposedly close to you, has been greatly influenced by the environment in which you grew up as a child?

It is sad that so many people come from broken homes with an abusive parent(s). This has brought on a pain that for some just can’t seem to go away. Unfortunately for most, the abuse (verbal, non-verbal and/or physical) was to both to the children and the other spouse. Some of us have been and are able to acknowledge both the psychological and physical damage that has come with being raised in these homes plus the effects it is having or has had on our relationships. The surrender to the Lord is more a plea acknowledging that “Lord, this is the format I know – born and bred, yet what I would desired, is to do better. How do I let go of this pain?”

The bigger majority of us, have for some reason continued to live in denial of how much the abuse affected us and haven’t sought the redemptive person of the Saviour. We would much rather sit with the weight of this pain, hurt, rejection, abandonment, name it, on our chest, rest it on their laps, than give it to the one who has carried us this far. It is a pain that we hold onto and expect the whole world to understand why we never esteem our spouse, or children, verbally and physically abuse our spouse and children. The dysfunctions in most broken people is rooted in a form of bitterness, they walk around with. You can explain it away all you want, but the simplest truth lies in surrendering a weight you were never meant to carry.

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you will be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.” Corrie ten Boom

When we are confronted with the truth, we always look for someone, a circumstance, something, anything to explain our bad behaviour, but never owning up to ask for help. The easiest road to walk down, is the road called self-pity. Believe me, this is a dark road, one that only leads to an even darker place called loneliness. I have been there. We can’t change what happened to us, but we can surrender our past in order for a more sure and secure future. It is the one thing you and I can do right. Surrendering pain to a higher power, will break a tradition that only breeds generations of bitterness. There is no brokenness that God can’t repair; no not one.

Christ, he beckons you to give Him all that hurt, pain, rejection, bitterness and its relatives because His strength is more than enough to carry that weight. If nothing is impossible for Him, which is a fact, how then can your pain be too much for Him to take care of? It is a journey you have got to start to wanna walk. It’s a choice.

Pain

Bitter Cannot Make You Better

Bitter.jpgIt is for different reasons that some have fled their country aside from war and persecution. Very few are refugees as a result of natural disasters. Today many from Africa have claimed refugee status abroad, because of economic poverty (where the national cake is eaten by those in power).  While listening to stories from the camp, I discovered that some wars, brought in different ethnicities from the same country. Most of our wars have a very big and classic element of revenge. There’s war from within the camp waging the war, and there’s war from without; those who are being fought against. Whereas both situations will certainly cause one to flee, the sad part is when both parties end up in the same camp. Different ethnicities, one country they both call home, and yet mortal enemies.

So your country men may have brought or waged the war that caused you to flee from the only place you have known as home, and then both the chaser then and the chased end up as refugees? Now I am left wondering, when you find yourself stranded with your enemy (by ethnicity) in a strange land, do you kill each other, hate each other, …, or learn to live together? While some have found a better way of living together, others have allowed for the war to continue on in their minds. When we carry any sort of war or even strife, it is something so easily passed down to generations who have nothing to do with why the ‘elephants’ fought in the first place. All objectivity is lost and bias handed down.

Among the many thoughts and questions that run through my mind as I travelled back, I decided to focus on just one question; while these people (refugees) have cause and may even feel justified to hate their ‘brothers’ from other ethnic groups, what is the justification for hate among the believers in the body of Christ? We all come from one “country” – as Christians, yet dislike our brother because s/he’s from a congregational fellowship we do not like? How then can we fight our common enemy – the devil and hope to win?

The young groups of refugees from different ethnic backgrounds who have decided and committed to working together, have since realised that they are not each other’s enemy. Rather that together, they can beat the enemy that manifests in different forms. The past has become their history as they endeavour to make the present an even better history for the generations to come.

“We cannot start over, but we can begin now and make a new ending.” Zig Ziglar

This is bringing unity and hope among their parents and breeding a better generation that will subscribe to the “Different yet one” ideology. Since bitter cannot make you better, how about working better to remove bitter?

Then I return to my Christian friends, just like the body has many parts with different functions, when will the apostolic, prophetic, evangelic, prophetic, pastoring and teaching congregational fellowships come to the realisation that they are different they all belong to “one country”? 

better

Tales from a Refugee Camp

refugeesI recently visited and facilitated in a business start-up course, at a settlement camp ‘home’ to so many refugees. These are person(s) who have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. As much as the sight, will remain imprinted, so will the stories told because one can literally feel with them as they narrate some of their ordeals, and stories untold simply because I could see them and read the stories off their faces.

It is true, some will die having never gone back to their homes, or ever having a place to permanently call home. It’s good to be grateful when you in a place by choice. I learned that while all were refugees by status, for one group, their creative abilities had not been forced to leave their body’s and that did not deter them from dreaming, critical thinking, …., engaging their minds to make the most of circumstance life had thrown at them. They weren’t inhibited mentally, and their status didn’t incapacitate them but was rather propelling them forward. There was and still is gratitude for where they are and hope for where they want to be by letting God work a wonder in them and through them.

These young people (nine nationalities are represented in the camp) came together in their predicament and asked themselves “How can we better ourselves and our community?” Different skills, strengths and minds were brought together …. These are the kind of people who make lemonade out of the lemons thrown at them.  I hope I will share their story some time soon.

Then there was the other group with the same status, but also whose lives are lived in ‘evacuation mode’. Funny when one has lived in ‘evacuation mode’ for over 5 years and counting. This is a hindrance even to oneself. It made me realise why some were getting better while others were getting bitter. You must not allow your mind to be held captive.

Reflecting as I travelled back, I was drawn to ask myself how many of us can fathom the impact an embraced status can have on any of us?

The status you embrace will always consume you and ultimately form your identity.

I drew in a little closer to the fact that many of us live as though the state of our minds just assumed ‘Refugee status’. Worse when our minds are waiting for evacuation to who knows where.

One of the things that I concluded on, was that while your body, may have been ‘sentenced’ to being a refugee, your mind doesn’t have to assume the same status. Sometimes, we are in places or caught up in situations, which we have no control over, or at no choice of ours, however how we carry on from there, is a choice we definitely have control over. Our minds should not be limited by the physical boundaries of the moment.

refugees

To Compromise or not?

compromiseOften times we start out with a set plan and clear direction on how to go about something(s), and on other occasions, the directions in how to go about this particular plan, idea or vision come as we go along. I got the opportunity of listening this amazing lady answer the question, “What challenges have you faced as a Christian business owner?” Ooooh boy, did she have a lot to say. Among the things that stood out for me, is that not only does facing the challenge become a challenge within itself, but that it also challenges the foundations of your core beliefs and values. The challenge pauses the question “should I or not?”

We live in a fast changing world where the changes to adapt are almost inevitable. However does the change come with compromising on our beliefs and values? If and when we make these compromises, does it affect our values and hit at the very core of our beliefs? The word TOLERANCE is hitting number one in many of our humanitarian organisations, schools, businesses and so on; however the question to oneself would be, “how tolerant or compromising am I willing to go?” The desire to be accepted, to be included into the crowd, not to look different from the rest, to look the other way, will come and it is not without a cost – your integrity.

And whether you agree to compromise or not, comes with a cost. You may be applauded for your integrity, vision focus, being honourable, and all the good attributes or you may actually lose favour, lose business and some friendships along the way. Is it worth it? That is a question only you can answer.

I heard a story about the camel and its owner. Night fell and the owner pitched himself a tent, whilst tying the camel on a palm tree outside. A few hours into the night, the camel asked its master if he could just put his nose inside the tent since it was a little cold outside; to which the owner agreed. By midnight, the tent had a new owner. So how far are you willing to go on compromise so as to tolerate what eats away at the values you represent? When we compromise, we allow ourselves to conform to beliefs and values we have no business embracing. So the need to consult with your board – God.

God has only asked that we conform to the image of His son and to His death and not to the world. Think long and hard what that compromise get you to conform to!

courage